Hulu’s owners have decided against auctioning off the online video service after inviting bids four months ago, saying the site’s strategic value outweighed any monetary benefits of a sale.
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“We have terminated the sale process and look forward to working together to continue mapping out its path,” owners News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), and Providence Equity Partners said Thursday in a statement. “Hulu holds a unique and compelling strategic value to its owners.”
NBC Universal is another of Hulu’s co-owners, but was required to give up oversight when it was acquired by Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA).
In keeping the site, the media companies will be able to exercise a higher level of control over how their shows are distributed online and can use the service to steer viewers to their networks, Fox, NBC, and ABC. With rival Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) losing subscribers over price increases, Hulu is positioned to win users.
Unlike Netflix, Hulu offers both free, ad-supported service, and paid, ad-free services. The $7.99-a-month Hulu Plus had over 1 million subscribers as of October 5, according to CEO Jason Kilar. Hulu also recently expanded to Japan and has added a number of viewing devices, including those operating on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android software.